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Jian Qin and Li Xia on the Social Credit System

In her famous 1992 study of networked relationships in entrepreneurial settings, entrepreneurship professor Andrea Larson (University of Virginia), observed how network form of governance highlight ‘reputation, trust, reciprocity and mutual interdependence, and how social control is one of the possible governance mechanisms of network organizational forms.

As it is well-known, networks are a governance mechanism that provides an alternative to both markets and hierarchies. While markets – at least in their most abstract conceptualization – are limited to the private sector, and hierarchies are confined to the public sector, networks span across the public, private, and voluntary sectors. If hierarchies are governed through administrative orders, and markets are coordinated through competition and prices, networks are governed through mechanisms based on trust.

Concepts in Chinese Political Language: 1. Political Life (政治生活)

In February 1980, the Fifth Plenum of the Eleventh Congress of the CPC passed a document in twelve points, entitled Some Principles for Political Life Within the Party (here, in Chinese). This text never received much attention…at least in the West, despite its claims that it was “an important piece of Party legislation” regulating the political life of members of the CPC. While the temptation to read the Principles against the over-abused bios/Zoe dichotomy might be strong – and fashionable – in imperial China, matters

of state were not debated on the agora by those Greek citizens endowed with bios. Also, the notion of bios does not exist in Chinese thought, where ideas about physical life are expressed through the characters sheng, ming, and Huo, (and ideas about what allows physical life to come into existence and to continue are conveyed by qi, shen, and jing.)

A long overdue reply to Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt’s criticism

This post is written in response to Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt’s criticism of the paper I presented at the 2015 European China Law Studies Association Conference (here). Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt works with Stéphanie Balme at SciencesPo, in Paris. The criticism I received from him is, thus far, the best and most sophisticated criticism I have ever received. I am not posting the response he sent me. Those who are interested in the question of how we should approach Chinese law may want to get in touch to explore possible ways to start a broader public conversation on this and similar points.